Survival Cookware

On the subject of survival cookware, there are generally two schools of thought. The first is that you never know where you’re going to be in a survival situation so your equipment should be lightweight and easy to store so you can have it in a car or “go bag” ready to pick up and run.

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared


The other says that if you’re planning on investing in cookware, you’re obviously planning for long-term survival so you should buy heavy duty items that will last rather than cheaper flimsy items that may break sooner.

Bare Minimums

Survival cooking is a question of being able to feed you and your family in a situation where you might not have electricity or gas to cook with. This means a lot of campfire cooking and sadly a simple saucepan isn’t going to cut it if you have to survive for days or weeks at a time. At a bare minimum, you should have the following survival cookware:

  • Dutch oven – one of the main problems many people have with survival cooking is that simple one-pot recipes require you to be sat in one location for a while. This stops you from doing other jobs such as collecting firewood or finding more food. A Dutch oven is a big cast iron pot that can sit in the middle of a small fire and roast or bake food for you. It can also act as a slow cooker if you surround it with hot coals and bury it in the ground. This gives you the ability to prepare a meal and leave it alone for a few hours.
Classic 12-Inch Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Mule Deer Detailing
12-Inch Cast Iron Dutch Oven
4 1/2 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven
4 1/2 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven

  • Griddle – this may sound like a luxury item to some people, but in a survival situation, you may find yourself eating much more meat than you would normally. It can take a long time to soften meat like rabbit or goat in a stew so having the ability to fry them on a griddle beforehand will dramatically reduce your cooking time as well as giving you the option of cooking some of the hardier root vegetables as well.
  • Skewers – roasting meat and vegetables is going to be a big part of your survival lifestyle and you can use skewers to either slow cook food in the embers or roast it on a spit. Either way, you can use them to create kabobs to either eat as on the go snacks or to soften tough meat for a stew without having to heat up the griddle first.


5 Pc Cast Iron Cookware Set

Texsport - Family Stainless Steel Cook Set

Added Luxuries

If you’re planning on long-term survival cooking for longer, you should think about treating yourself to a few luxury survival cookware items. These will give you a wider range on your cooking and allow you to vary the recipes enough to stop you and your family from getting bored of food. Some of the simple luxuries to use include:

  • Bread pan – man cannot live on meat and vegetables alone and at some point you’re going to need to find a way of getting carbohydrates into your system for longer lasting energy. Using a bread pan on a camp fire can be tricky so you’ll also need a way of enclosing it to give the yeast time to work, so it’s worth buying it in conjunction with a larger Dutch oven.
Seasoned Cast Iron Bread Pan with Handles
Cast Iron Bread Pan
Cast Iron Steamer in Blue Porcelain Enamel w Lattice Top
Cast Iron Steamer in Blue Porcelain Enamel
  • Sandwich press – if you’re either making your own bread or have access to a good supply, a sandwich press will allow you to create toasted sandwiches to break up the monotony of bread and meat. They look like skewers with flat ends that completely cover the bread allowing you to cook in the middle of the fire without the risk of burnt toast.
  • Steamer – a stainless steel steamer can sit inside a saucepan and give you the taste of fresh vegetables. Survival cooking can very quickly become about making soups and stews, so being able to offer steamed vegetables as an alternative every now and again will make a big difference to your health and morale.

Whatever you do, you don’t want to have survival cookware that has Teflon or any type of non-stick coating. Cast iron, stainless steel and even cast aluminum will do better in the often-rough conditions in which they may be used in a survival situation.

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